Last week, Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine African-American parishioners at Charleston, S.C.’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015, was declared mentally competent to stand trial.
On Monday, Roof was granted permission to represent himself at trial before the prospective jurors in his case were brought into the courtroom, WISTV reports.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel did suggest that Roof do otherwise.
"I think it is wise for you to be represented by counsel," Gergel said, according to WISTV.
However, despite his suggestion, Gergel still granted Roof permission to represent himself, with Roof's former counsel to sit next to him during the trial and remain in a standby position.
After Roof's request was granted, the prospective jurors were brought into the courtroom.
Read more at WISTV.